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Old May 27th, 2015, 06:28 PM
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To me it would have made more sense to put a notice out to guests to leave their dirty plates in their cabin and call room service to pick them up or have the cabin steward take care of them. Just because a few people have no common sense is no reason to punish everyone.

I'm glad they reversed their decision.

Norwegian Cruise Line reverses ban on taking food to cabins: Travel Weekly

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  #32  
Old May 27th, 2015, 07:19 PM
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On my Holland trip it was posted and reminded when you called to order just to call to have someone pick the dishes up...yet the cabin steward told me to place dishes in the hallway.

It may simply be they need better training if it's an issue. Room service says one thing the stewards are saying something else.
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Old May 28th, 2015, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storybookcruises.com View Post
To me it would have made more sense to put a notice out to guests to leave their dirty plates in their cabin and call room service to pick them up or have the cabin steward take care of them. Just because a few people have no common sense is no reason to punish everyone.

I'm glad they reversed their decision.

Norwegian Cruise Line reverses ban on taking food to cabins: Travel Weekly

Pete
Yes, this was a bit of a PR disaster for them, but they brought it on themselves.

From the comments I've read, it seems that NCL passengers are confused about how to handle their RS, or carrout, dishes. Some have been told by the steward to place them in the hall. Others report that if they leave them in the cabin, expecting them to be removed by the steward, they are ignored until the passenger places them in the hall themselves. I do recall this same scenario myself, and it was puzzling.

Some are angry because trays left in halls make it difficult for those in wheelchairs to get by, yet it seems to be NCL's policy that they are to be placed there. All the more puzzling, when the big guy FDR sees some, his knee jerk reaction was not to consider whether to change the procedure or step up efforts to pick them up more quickly, but to put a ban on carryouts..

Maybe I'm wrong, but I would guess that the majority of plates come from RS, so I don't know how this could have been the solution. Mr Stuart says they did not realize how much their passengers valued the freedom to carryout, ( they found out pretty darn quick ) and that they chose the wrong solution..

Someone posted a picture of a new room service delivery tray in use on the new Royal ships which looks like an enclosed white plastic box. The food is delivered in the box and the empty dishes can be put back into the box and placed in the hall for collection. Much more appealing than an open tray with half eaten food, and they can even be stacked. But it still requires that someone pick them up quickly. But good to know that some cruise lines are looking at sensible solutions to problem.
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Old May 28th, 2015, 09:27 PM
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The funny thing is that this is not a victory for the people, really. The main complaint was the $7.95 room service fee, which still remains.

The ban on takeaway food was just a byproduct of that - but now with the room service fee people will take away more & more.

So, NCL got the fee they wanted, but unfortunately they are going to have to work harder to clean up a lot more plates and get them back to the Lido.
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Old May 28th, 2015, 11:00 PM
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I loved the way cruises used to be. Things are getting more complicated and less friendly.

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Old May 29th, 2015, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
The funny thing is that this is not a victory for the people, really. The main complaint was the $7.95 room service fee, which still remains.

The ban on takeaway food was just a byproduct of that - but now with the room service fee people will take away more & more.

So, NCL got the fee they wanted, but unfortunately they are going to have to work harder to clean up a lot more plates and get them back to the Lido.

Paul, I agree that the takeaway ban was a direct byproduct of the room service fee. Once NCL got wind of comments about people using carryout to avoid the fee, they quickly decided to ban carryouts so that if you wanted food in the cabin, room service was your only choice. It never had anything to do with cleaning up the halls is the opinion of most, but NCL of course will never admit this. Having been on 7 different NCL ships, I can tell you, and many many people have attested to the same, this was never a problem on NCL. You saw an occassional plate in the hall. The public areas are always very clean.

But, the huge controversy and complaint was never the Room Service fee. It was definately discussed. Everyone almost universally disliked paying a fee for something which had been traditionally free, and still is on most cruise lines. And they especially disliked not being able to get a pot of coffee in the cabin without paying $7.95 for it. And, to NCL's credit, they quickly reverted to the formerly free complimentary continental breakfast up until 10:00 am.

But the huge controversy began when they instituted the carryout ban. The CC board practically blew up. 70,000 views and well over a 1,000 comments, and that was just on one thread, and there were several going at the same time. And it was all about the carryout ban. There followed a couple of idiotic statements from a PR person re health and safety, and comments from Andy Stuart where he tried to throw his passengers under the bus for plates in the hall. It was like kerosene on a brush fire. And then the article in USA Today with a readership of several million. People started calling and emailing Customer Relations or even higher with complaints. And finally they back peddled and the ban was lifted completely.

So, power to the people! And I don't think people even cared that much about eating in their rooms. It was just the "idea" that NCL was going to try to tell you where you could eat food you had paid for. And they were going to try to force you to pay a fee by having the "ban". And as much as anything, for me at least and more than a few others, it showed the new "mindset" of the decision makers at NCL. And the fact that Andy Stuart was surprised at the fact that their Freestyle customer base would be incensed that they could not take a piece of pie out of Cagneys. My guess is he did know it was a bone head move and let the chips fall where they may.

Clean up a lot more plates? I don't think the room service fee and the fact that passengers can get food elsewhere will result in MORE plates in the halls and more work from NCL. A plate is a plate, whether I get it from room service or the buffet. Those who want to eat in room still will, but they are a very small percentage. And the reality is, very few people actually use room service OR take food out of other venues. They go "out" for meals. Pre ban, the halls were always very clean, and I don't see any reason for this to change. Although I and many others have been very vocal about it, I have rarely ordered room service, or taken anything out of a restaurant. We eat "out" pretty much every meal as do the vast majority of passengers on NCL or any cruise line. We just do not like being manipulated.

I don't think ever have I seen a company make so many public blunders to completely turn off their customer base, not to mention new and potential ones. Nearly everything the new guy has said publicly so far has offended NCL passengers. First the comment about needing to squeeze an extra $54 from each passenger, followed quickly by a string of fee and service charge increases plus a couple of new ones, then calling us a "captive audience", and talking about the "levers" he can pull, followed by room service fees and a ban on carryouts. He has called those who voiced their opinions, "media flacks". Now I know this kind of talk goes on in private meeting and board rooms, but at events covered by the media?. Either he is tone deaf, or he just does not care. And I do not think he has a clue about what mainstream cruisers want, and the very product he is now in charge of.

And the cherry on the cake for me was the fact that they publicly trashed the image of their own ships by insisting that the problem of piles of plates in the halls led to the carryout ban. Plates from room service with $7.95 fee attached are OK, but plates of free food from buffet is not. They held themselves up for ridicule with this argument. You can comb through countless reviews from NCL cruisers, and look at the discussion boards and you will find that if there was ever any mention of plates in the halls they are few and far between. There are those who have spent hours looking, and can't find these complaints. There were complaints about lots of things, but the maintenance of the ships was not one of them. They are there, just like on any cruise ship, no more or no less, but now that image is out there, just like the old Nickel and Dime label that they will never shake. People are already saying that it "has to be true". And what company would want to do that to the image of their own cruise line? It boggles my mind. And I am sure a certain someone will soon be taking credit for greatly improving the clenliness of those dirty NCL ships..

Last edited by Travelbuggs; May 29th, 2015 at 11:18 AM.
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